Cover photo for Braiding Seeds Fellowship

Braiding Seeds Fellowship

Soul Fire Farm

Closed May 1, 2024

The Braiding Seeds Fellowship, a project of Soul Fire Farm Institute in collaboration with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, provides beginning farmers with resources, professional development, and mentorship to support their livelihood on land.

Braiding Seeds fellows receive a $50,000 stipend; a menu of professional development opportunities including 1:1 mentorship, workshops, farm finance and business plan support; cohort gatherings; and individualized coaching.

Farming will be the main work of fellows, who will dedicate a minimum average of 20+ hours per week on their farms during the growing season. Fellows will attend online and (COVID conditions allowing) in-person cohort gatherings for networking and professional development. Fellows will also complete at least 50 hours of professional development over 18 months from the menu provided, including: 1:1 mentorship, workshops, farm finance and business plan support. Fellows are also asked to provide feedback and suggestions to inform future years of the program. Fellows will participate in regular 1:1 check in meetings with fellowship staff as well.

Mini Grants

In addition to the fellowship, Soul Fire Farm will also be awarding 12 runners-up with mini-grants of $2500 each. Applicants have the option of applying for one of these mini-grants within the fellowship application form. Opting in or out of consideration for the mini-grant will not positively or negatively impact the ranking of your overall fellowship application.


Beginning farmers and land stewards, ages 18+, with a minimum of 1 year of farming and/or land stewardship experience and no more than 3 years of management level farming and/or land stewardship experience, are welcome to apply. The fellowship is for Black, Indigenous, and people of color farmers based in the northeast and southeast of the United States, including all states and territories that touch the Atlantic Ocean and its tidal arms (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, DC, MS, AL, LA, PA, WV, VT.) The fellowship is for individuals, though fellows are welcome to share their resources with collaborators in their respective projects. Applicants should be passionate about the flourishing of Black agrarianism.

Who qualifies as a farmer?

For the purpose of the fellowship, a farmer is a person whose livelihood entails collaboration with an ecosystem to produce food, forage, seeds, medicine, or other crops. The returns of their labor may afford the farmer wages, sales, and/or community-provisioning and they may be termed a peasant, urban grower, campesino, farmworker, row crop farmer, shepherd, herb grower, schoolyard gardener, nonprofit farmer, ocean farmer, orchardist, fiber farmer, etc. They have in common tending to the earth as their means of ‘securing the necessities of life.’ The fellowship looks to support farmers who are producing at a scale that can support the wider community, and not just a single household.


The fellowship will begin on July 17, 2023 and will end on December 31, 2024. It is an 18-month program. 

Application Instructions

Apply for the fellowship and mini-grant directly online at this portal.

For Spanish speaking farmers

Our partners at Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC) are currently piloting a sibling fellowship program for Spanish-speaking farmers. They do not have applications open at this time, but if you are interested in learning more and want to receive notifications about future program developments, please contact Gaby Pereyra at:


Release Date

March 3, 2024


May 1, 2024


Soul Fire Farm

Financial Instrument


Minimum Award Amount


Maximum Award Amount


Updated March 27, 2024

Image Credit: Etty Fidele

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